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Jean Christophe safe down in ABC
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Dec 12, 2004 22: 01 EST
Jean Christophe's called his wife today, Sunday morning, from the bottom of the face, out of danger. He packed up his advance base camp, and walked on to BC. He'd left his camp at 7000m in a storm, descending very carefully.

Jean Christophe arrived Shisha mid November and began to establish high camps. Stuck in bad weather in ABC for a week, Jean Christophe finally summited Saturday in a weather window.

Secret climb

He kept his climb a secret to the day of the summit push. Reported Simone Moro last week: "When we arrived in Nepal we heard about one climber attempting Shisha alone right now. Nobody knows who he is and he ordered people he met not to say anything about him..."

Makalu

This was Lafailles second summit of Shisha - the last was in 1994. Only Kangchenjunga, Makalu and Everest remain on Lafailles list to complete all 14, 8000ers. This past spring, Lafaille made an attempt to summit Makalu via a new route.

Jean Christophe Lafaille was one ambitious climber last year, summiting three 8,000m peaks within a two month period: On May 20th 2003, he reached the top of Dhaulagiri, alone and without oxygen. After that, he and Simone Moro paved new partial route up Nanga Parbat, and Lafaille summited on June 23. Then on July 15th, he and Ed Viesturs made the summit of Broad Peak.

By the time Lafaille was on his last descent, however, his pace began to take its toll. On his way down from Broad Peak, he experienced serious breathing difficulties. Ed Viesturs and Kazakh climber Denis Urubko affected a nighttime rescue and brought Lafaille safely down the mountain.

Denis Urubko climbed a new route on Khali Himal 7066 m this summer with Simone Moro and Tassi Bruno "Camos". The climb, summited by Denis, won the URSS championship in the category Hi-Altitude Technical. Only a few days ago, Denis called over the good news to his team mates Simone and Camos - the climbers on the current Shisha winter climb attempt.

Image of Lafaille, courtesy of his website.
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